Eight months have passed since Florida lifted its ban on gay marriage but changes have not been made to birth certificates issued by The Florida Department of Health. Florida birth certificates are gender-specific, “mother and husband” rather than the option of “parents”. This means that children born to these couples do not have the same rights as those born to hetero-sexual parents.
To date, three gay couples have filed lawsuits against the Florida Bureau of Statistics claiming the State is issuing “a certificate that falsely indicates that the child has only one parent.” The Florida Department of Health has responded with a request for clarification from a judge if the ruling from the Supreme Court to lift the ban of gay marriages applies to change to vital statistics records.
By naming both parents on the birth certificate gives each parent legal rights and responsibilities to children listed below:
• Governmental benefits – Social Security survivorship benefits, government pension
• Consent to medical and dental care
• Decision making for education, religious training, and legal matters
• Child support
Whether parents are heterosexual, same-sex, married, or unmarried, it is important for both parents to be listed on the birth certificate. Doing so at birth immediately provides the child with benefits especially in the case of parental death. If adding the father to the birth certificate after birth, the father will have to submit to a paternity test, pay fees associated with the test and legal fees if necessary, fees to file for an amended birth certificate, and cost for copies of the amended birth certificate.
Ronald A. Luzim understands that each situation is different. He first learns and understands the unique needs of each client and then offers personal service appropriate to each case. He is a former estate and tax attorney with the IRS, has been practicing law since 1974, and specializes not only in estate planning and real estate but also is a Coral Springs family lawyer, Coral Springs probate lawyer, and Coral Springs bankruptcy lawyer. In addition as a practicing state-certified mediator, Ronald brings experience, expertise, and empathy to your legal matter. Please contact his Coral Springs office at 954-755-1500 for assistance in protecting yourself, your family, and your property.
There is no substitute for experience.